Hockey Team Dedicated to Being a State Contender


Varsity captain Callan Budinger on the ice

Joey Bonadonna, Sports Editor, Online Tritonian

After a trip to the state semifinal round in the 2020-21 season, the NDA boys’ hockey team has kicked off their 2021-22 season with similar goals in mind.

The Tritons have made state in the last two seasons, but have fallen short of the ultimate prize of a state championship in both of those quests.

“We want to get right back into the process of being a state-contending team,” senior Isaac Reentmeester said. “We have to work on the little stuff to make sure we can put all the pieces in places to get us to the last game of the season.”

Even after losing last season’s FRCC player of the year in Brendan Poshak, as well as all-conference recipients like Max McNeil and Xander Roberts, this year’s team thinks they can fill those roles with the players they have on this year’s roster.

“We have great young talent coming in on the defensive end and many players that are able to fill a new more important role,” Reentmeester said. “With losing three great contributors to the team, we just need more people to step up and hold more responsibilities than what they had last year.”

Reentmeester, through four games, has tallied five points, with three goals and two assists. The points sheet has been very balanced so far this year for the Tritons, but sitting at the top is senior captain Callan Budinger.

Budinger, a varsity contributor since his freshman year, tallied 26 points during last year’s COVID-shortened season, his most in a Triton uniform. The most impressive part about this feat is that he did it in just 19 games, nine less than his sophomore campaign where he tallied 23 points. He is currently on pace for a 40+ point season.

“He’s been much more vocal this season,” senior Bryce Eberhardt said of Budinger’s captain status. “He definitely has led by example on and off the ice.”

With games against defending Minnesota state champion Gentry Academy (MN) and a rematch with Hudson from last year’s playoff loss on the horizon this month, the Tritons have emphasized keeping a narrow field of view.

“We know we have to take it one game at a time and understand that our goal at the end of the year is to be in the championship game,” Reentmeester said. “We have to take all the pieces we work on in practice and bring them to each game to dominate a hard-scheduled season.”

The Tritons currently sit at 2-1-1, as they open conference play tonight against De Pere.